Election board is in wrong

Published 9:51 am Friday, November 13, 2015

I have been upset from the first day I heard that my son, away at college, would not be allowed to vote in the special election on Nov. 17, 2015.

I attended the election board meeting (which I never saw it advertised) and spoke to Mark McCown and Randy Lambert about my concerns. They blamed the entire problem on the charter for making the voting day 14 days after the general election.

I informed them that yes home rule supersedes state law but the only thing the charter stated was when the election would be held, not who could vote and the changing of the precincts. Ohio Revised Code prevails when home rule is not specific regarding certain matters. Mr. McCown informed me that they had to wait 10 days to count the provisional ballots.

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I asked both of them if the number of provisional ballots cast in Ironton would change the outcome of the second or third place in the mayor’s race, they both said it would not change the outcome. The election board is making the decisions on who can vote and who can’t. They are letting overseas military, overseas citizens vote.

Supposedly they are going to let nursing homes vote absentee, why are they any different from any other qualified elector in Ironton who wants to vote absentee?

ORC 3901.01 states that the board shall provide absentee ballots for use at every Primary, General and Special election. 3509.02 states that any qualified elector may vote absentee ballots at any election. 3509.08 states that disabled and confined electors may have the board of elections send two people from the board office to vote in any election.

This board is making new laws, not enforcing the ones on the books. It will be a shame to see this election go forward and a small percentage of the electorate in Ironton elect our next mayor.

I’ve spoken to the Secretary of State and they want to stay out of local politics. I informed them it has nothing to do with local politics, it has to do with not allowing the citizens of Ironton the chance to vote. In 1980, the first time we had a runoff for the mayor’s job, won by Bill Sheridan, went off without a hitch.

The board of elections did their job and they opened all voting precincts and allowed absentee ballots. We all need to remember that when this election is over, that your Lawrence County Board of election officials chose who should vote and where to vote. Changing voting precincts usually takes 30 day notice.

Not going by the law but how it could make their job simpler. The board of elections should have been prepared for this to happen with four qualified candidates. They ask for a prosecutor’s opinion several months ago.

Why didn’t they get ready to treat the citizens of Ironton fairly? The board has a program in their office that can print ballots on demand. Why not use it for this election? They don’t have to wait for an out of town printing firm to print absentee ballots.

If you talk to any former election board employee, and I have talked to several, they are amazed at how poorly this election is being run and how unfair it is to the citizens of Ironton.

My opinion has nothing to do with who wins the mayor’s race. It has everything to do with being treated fair across the board.


Jim Kratzenberg